When talking to people who are new to SEO and PPC, one thing I often caution them about is not to get bogged down by information overload. There is a remarkable amount of content to consume pertaining to search marketing, but much of it is:
- Good but redundant
- Unique but not really applicable for many people
- High-quality, but too advanced for beginners
As a result I really like to introduce people to a very short list of two to four authoritative resources on a subject so that they can get a few different perspectives and a complete picture on the topic, avoid information overload, and ensure that they’re reading quality information.
This week our friends at PPC Hero re-released their Ultimate Guide to Quality Score , which is an outstanding resource on the topic, so I thought it would be a great time to introduce anyone new to Quality Score  to the PPC Hero guide and three other excellent resources on the topic:
- WordStream’s Quality Score Toolkit  – WordStream offers a lot of extremely valuable Quality Score tools  and is constantly sharing various Quality Score resources , but the Quality Score Toolkit is a particularly great compilation of helpful tools and information. Included in the toolkit is a handy cheatsheet that gives a quick overview of what Quality Score is and how it works, a white paper and webinar on the subject, and a Quality Score Calculator that helps you identify areas in your account that need improvement. You can get the free toolkit here . There's also the Google AdWords Grader  that grades your AdWords account on a variety of important metrics, including Quality Score.
- Redfly’s Excellent Guide  – Similarly to the folks at PPC Hero, Redfly has put together a resource on the subject of Quality Score that incorporates some great visuals to help you understand the importance of Quality Score, the impact it can have on your account, and of course some best practices for improving Quality Scores.
- Quality Score in High Resolution  – Craig Danuloff of Click Equations has also been producing a lot of great content on the subject of Quality Score for some time now, and he recently turned a lot of the time and effort he’s spent studying the subject into a really comprehensive book on Quality Score. The book leverages several conversations with AdWords representatives to answer some tricky – and often misunderstood – questions on how Quality Score really works, and the actual impact it has on how ads are shown and how they’re priced. This is a great one to pick up any time, but particularly after you’ve spent some time with the other resources and want an even more comprehensive look at Quality Score.
And that’s it – that’s the list. The beauty of using this list of resources as an introduction to the topic of Quality Score is that you’ll not only walk away with a very thorough understanding of the subject, you’ll also be armed with great information you can be confident in, and you won’t have spent any unnecessary time and effort sifting through sub-par content or looking at resources that won’t help you get the deep understanding of the topic you’re looking for.